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Tradescant's Heart

John Tradescant was court gardener to Charles I, and died in 1638. Introduction of this dark black, crisp fleshed bigarreau to Britain was attributed to Tradescant, from the Continent. Various European cherries have been identified with this, but none with surety: possibly it is the 'Moraiola' of renaissance Italy. One synonym, 'St Margarets' (feast day, 20 July) indicates its ripening time in northern Europe, not Britain, and suggests a far and wide distribution, long ago. For three centuries, Tradescant's Heart was the largest cherry known and, allowed to ripen on the tree, about the richest flavored of all. Mid-late June. On Mahaleb.
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